Arrival in Siena. Siena is one of the most enchanting cities in Italy. Take some time to visit the medieval centre with majestic buildings, such as the palazzo Comunal on Il campo and a profusion of churches and small museums rich in artworks.
Starting from Siena, cycle north through fields and vineyards, stopping in San Sano at a favorite restaurant for lunch. Afterwards, you can visit Radda on your way to Castellina.
Today choose between a route through the surrounding countryside with a visit to Castle Meleto or a route to San Gigminano, with its medieval towers evoking times past. Back in Castellina, opportunities are many for wine tasting at one of the enotecas in town. Your hotel in Castellina, formerly a palace is now a charming hotel with swimming pool and stunning common rooms.
Your route today takes you to Monterrigioni; with its perfectly preserved walls and cobbled streets you will find the charm immediate. Your hotel, located in the country-side with pool and surrounded by an extensive park, may tempt you to relax. For those interested in cooking lessons prior to dinner, please call the office for details.
This will be a favorite day of riding as you pedal through rolling countryside lined with cypress trees. Asciano is full of museums and monuments, and is also a perfect base to reach the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, where monks still produce wine, honey, olive oil and a cure-all herb liquor. Art lovers will not want to miss the frescoes painted by Sodoma and Signorelli that have been preserved here since the 15th century. Your 3-star hotel in Asciano is brand new with swimming pool and gardens.
Following quite rolling roads south, you'll visit the tiny villages of Petroio and Castelmuzio on your way to Pienza, full of Renaissance monuments; your hotel here is quietly situated 150 meters from the central plaza and has large comfortable rooms and a casualness that you will enjoy (and a brand new pool in 2007).
Montepulciano is the biggest and highest of Tuscany’s hill towns at 655 meters with medieval alleyways and lots of Renaissance palaces and churches. The surrounding countryside produces a wine called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and has been doing so since the 8th century. We'll recommend local enotecas where you can taste.
Ride through a classic Tuscan tableau of cypress trees, pines and olive groves to the ancient village of Bagno Vignoni;
see a Roman bath favored by members of the Medici family. Continue to Montalcino, a picturesque town famous for Brunello wines and medieval architecture.
On this d ay loop from Montalcino, you will cycle to Buonconvento, a picturesque 14th Century medieval village and to the Bibbiano fortress that overlooks the Ombrone Valley.
Departure day. Be sure to spend a final few moments enjoying the delights of Tuscany before you catch your train to your next destination.
"We had a fabulous trip! The weather was perfect and the scenery never censed to be breathtaking. The bike routes were challenging in terms of hills but very pleasant because of the lack of traffic and the never-ending views. The accommodations were all good and got progressively better as we went. Same for the meals. It was an unforgettable trip."
- B. and M. Hole